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Real pearls or not?

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  • Real pearls or not?

    Hello experts on Pearl-Guide!
    I have been reading this forum for quite a while, but when it comes to pearls on hands I am still not confident yet.
    I got this strand second hand, super-duper cheap, I could say that it costs like nothing from a charity shop. I got it as my first feeling told me that it is real, and it looks beautiful. It is heavy, much heavier than other bigger stand at the shop which I could tell fake immediately.

    I looked closely at every pearl and they are not the same size or shape at all. There are some overtones I believe, some are pink and some are cream, if I look at them in the shade. Under sunlight, they are just really shinny.

    The only problem is that I feel like they are not truly gritty with teeth test. I couldn't tell the feeling exactly, not so gritty (as the Tahitian pearl I have) but not so slippery.

    Can anyone tell me, from the photo, if they are real or not, please?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Small glass beads would weigh more than large plastic beads, so you can't go by the weight. Also, I have imitation pearl strands in which the shape and size of the beads is not 100% uniform.

    The bead crimp endings (where the necklace attaches to the clasp) are a low end way to finish a strand. The pearls are very shiny, and I don't see variation in overtones in those photos. Certain high quality imitation pearls (Majorica brand) have a final coating that produces a pink and green pseudo-orient. Other brands may as well.

    I'm leaning toward saying they are imitation, but let's look closer.

    • Please take a few photos without flash on a white background (a paper towel is fine) including close-ups of any blemishes.
    • Are there any metal marks on the clasp?
    • Is there any flaking of the coating, near the drill holes or elsewhere? Any built-up swirls of excess coating near the drill holes, sometimes found in lower end imitations?
    • If you have a 10x magnifier (loupe) take a look at the surface. Real nacre is very smooth, while imitation pearl coating has a coarser look to it under 10x magnification.


    • #3
      Also, the knots seem a bit large, making me think the drill holes are a bit large also. Real pearls are sold by weight so they typically have small drill holes, to preserve the pearl weight. Imitations often (but not always) have larger drill holes than real pearls.


      • #4
        Thank you very much for your quick and thorough response, Pearl Dreams, I really appreciate it.
        There is a stamp, G.Silver, PAT on the hook, which swings me toward saying that the pearls are imitations. I notice a small crack on one pearl, a light circle on another, that's all I can remember.
        I will take more photos as you suggested and upload later on.
        Many thanks again.


        • #5
          It's late here, but I'll check back tomorrow.


          • #6
            To update, I can't take any non-fuzzy closeup photo, but I did see some flaking near the drill holes when looking really carefully. Now I can say for sure that they are imitations. Many thanks for your advice, Pearl Dreams.


            • #7
              Even so, you can still enjoy wearing them! Jackie Kennedy's famous 3-strand pearl necklace was fake, made by Kenneth Jay Lane. Barbara Bush also wore fakes by KJL.


              • #8
                Hello, I was wondering If I could post some pictures of a few strands I have. I bought them Very cheaply a while ago, however, due to insecurity on my fresh " knowledge" on the matter, could someone give me ama opinion oh these ? For me they are what they were sold as ( freshwater pearls ) but today I've found some peeling in one pearl and now I'm bit thrown. I was considering selling them, but with this doubt I really don't think I can. It matches all the criteria for cultured freshwater pearls, the gritty thing, the overtones and so on. If someone could give me an opinion, It would be great Click image for larger version

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                • #9
                  Click image for larger version

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                  • #10
                    Click image for larger version

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                    • #11
                      They're freshwater pearls, but I don't see peeling, just a dull area.

                      Have you tried wiping the dull area with a damp cloth to see if it's actually some substance on top of the pearl?


                      • #12
                        Pearl Dreams, thank you for the reply. To my eye, it's an area that kind of seems "peeled" with a chunck of it's outer layer already gone. Could It simply be a flaw that simply came with the pearl ? Btw, I smashed I couple. Click image for larger version

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                        • #13
                          Yes, it could just be that a few are damaged.

                          Your photo shows they are solid nacre pearls. See the concentric layers? And no bead inside.


                          • #14
                            Once again, thank you. I feel more at ease now.